NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 13, 2021
The Islanders and Lightning commence their third-round series today, Lightning GM Julien BriseBois addresses Nikita Kucherov’s LTIR, an update on the Canadiens, some expansion draft details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM:The third round of the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs begins this afternoon at 3 pm ET as the New York Islanders face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Tampa Bay.
SPORTSNET: Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois defended his team’s handling of Nikita Kucherov’s recovery from hip surgery and placing his contract on long-term injury reserve for the entire season.
“We had a player who was injured, needed surgery with about a five-month expected rehabilitation time. It just so happened with this season, because of the extraordinary circumstances, the regular season was only lasting four months,” BriseBois said in a press conference Saturday. “So he was able to have surgery, miss the entire season, we were able to get some cap relief during the season, and he was able to come back a little sooner than expected.”
BriseBois also confirmed the NHL investigated the Lightning’s handling of Kucherov’s contract status and found no rules were broken.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Critics suggest the Lightning somehow cheated the system because Kucherov returned in time for the playoffs when the salary cap isn’t applicable. However, they cannot be faulted for following the LTIR rules within the CBA, which apply to every NHL club. Cap Friendly and PuckPedia have the breakdown of LTIR frequently asked questions.
It’s legalized cap circumvention which the league and the NHLPA are willing to live with and have done so for years. Perhaps this will be raised in the next round of negotiations in 2026.
TSN: Montreal Canadiens center Jake Evans is making progress in his recovery from the concussion he suffered in the previous round. He’s been skating on his own and could return at some point in the upcoming series against the Vegas Golden Knights.
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun recently reported the Seattle Kraken will be allowed to sign players acquired prior to the July 21 expansion draft to eight-year contracts before the opening of free agency on July 28.
The Kraken also has an exclusive three-day window from 10 am on July 18 to 10 am on July 21 to speak with and potentially sign pending free agents left unprotected in the upcoming expansion draft. If they sign that player before the expansion draft, it will count as their pick from that player’s former club.
The earliest the Kraken can buy out players is 2022.
July 13 is the latest date a team can ask a player to waive their no-movement clause to be exposed in the expansion draft. The deadline for the player to waive that clause is July 16.
A trade freeze will be in place from 3 pm ET on July 17 to 1 pm ET on July 22 among the 31 NHL teams. The Kraken are allowed to make trades with any club during that period.
The deadline for protection list submission is 5 pm ET on July 17. The Kraken must submit their selection list to the league by 10 am ET on July 21. That’s the same deadline for them to submit contracts of players they signed during the free-agent interview period.
PUCKPEDIA: The Boston Bruins have a $2.02 million in bonus carryover overage cap hit for 2021-22.